Making Memories

My dad died.

I’ve been trying to make sense of things since I got the news. Our relationship was…. complicated, and I don’t want to talk about that here.

Death makes me think of a clean cut with a sharp knife that removes a limb, but not the phantom sensations.

My father is no longer among us physically, but his memory lives on.

Yella Fella lies beside me as I write this post

It’s odd the times I am reminded of those who are no longer living.

My grandfather used to wave to other drivers by sticking up his middle finger, which made me giggle every time I saw it. Now when I’m driving in a rural area and someone waves at me, I think of my grandfather. My grandmother used to read signs aloud whenever I drove her somewhere. Now sometimes I find myself reading billboards, and I think of her.

With my great-grandfather, it’s former president Jimmy Carter. One Christmas my great-grandfather told a joke about Carter divorcing his wife Rosalyn because swine flu caused her to root up a row of peanuts. Now when I see or hear Carter, the thought of my great-grandfather telling that joke- probably the only joke I ever heard him tell- comes to mind.


It’s not a good photo, but is typical Graybie Baby behavior when I am trying to work

The same is true of those companion animals I shared my life with.

When one of the cats goes a little crazy while eating and leaves food on the floor, I miss DeDe, who never let a food crumb lie. I think of Rumpy when I eat carrots, because he and I used to share a can of carrots sometimes when I was hungry but didn’t want to go to the trouble to fix anything. I can’t bring myself to eat carrots from the can since his death. I hear June Buggie meow at me whenever one of the cats fusses at me.

Little Girl is playing coy with the wand toy

I have always had a song for each companion in my life. For my cat Precious, it was “Precious and Few” as sung by Climax. For many years I couldn’t sing the song at all, and even now my eyes water when I hear the song.

As I write this post I am also making memories. All four cats like to be in my office when I work from home, or in the living room like now. Hissy Fit Jones sits beside me and looks at me until I rub my head against his. Little Girl snuggles beside me in bed. Yella purrs loudly when I groom him. Graybie insists on being held sometimes when I work, and does not take no for an answer.

Hissy waiting for his head nuzzles

My dad’s wife wants my father’s ashes and those of his companion animals to be together. I like that, because my dad loved his pets. I would like the same to be done when I die.

I hope you are making memories today for either yourself or for someone you love.

57 thoughts on “Making Memories

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Many relationships are complicated but that still allows us to have some good memories. Love your cats! They make the best support group.

  2. I hope you have good memories of your father. I just completed a 1600-mile trip to visit my 80-year-old mother. Our relationship was often quite difficult, but as we both see the end of the road in view, we have made special efforts to mend fences and create a few good memories. Our relationships with our parents are seldom easy, especially when our parents are of a certain generation. I’m glad your cats are there to help and love you. I have kept the ashes of my pets for the past 19 years, and I also want them mixed with mine when it is my turn to go. I’m sorry about your dad.

  3. So sorry to read this sad news about your loss. I hope you can share some warm memories of your dad in your heart. Wishing you lots of strength.

  4. I am so sorry about the passing of your father, I understand it being “complicated” because that is what my “on-again-off-again” relationship is with my Mother. I love how you posted all of the memories of departed family members and pets…..they all leave their mark on us, don’t they? My Angel Bobo’s song was “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton. Whenever that song came on he would come in and find me and start rubbing his face against my hand….when I hear that song I still cry……his other song was “Hungry Eyes” …..(I think Eric Carmen?)……used to remind me of him staring at me when he wanted to eat. I am embarrassed to say that with Cody I don’t think I have any songs. OMG.

    1. Thanks. They come in the most unexpected ways. I have a part-time weekend job working with persons with disabilities and one likes music. I sing to him songs my grandma used to sing to me as a kid. I never associated my grandmother with songs until now.

  5. I am sorry for your loss ,I guess the only thing we take with us when its our time is Memories,and I always think we should make them good ones,much love to you and of course the kitties,xx Rachel and Speedy

  6. We are sorry for your loss. All of the creatures, human and other, leave their stamp on us and change us. Dennis, Emily and their Meowmy

  7. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. I know about complicated and difficult family relationships. Memories do stay and provide comfort as well as longing.

  8. My deepest sympathy on the passing of your father. it is never easy to say “Goodbye” Jenn. I like that your Father’s wife wants his ashes with his pets. I have that in my WILL that MingFlower & NylaBlue’s ashboxes are put in with me.
    And when I hear Leon Russell sing “Lady Blue” I still cry over NylaBlue as that was ‘her’ song!
    MingFlower’s song was “I Wanna Rock an Roll all night an Potty (Party) Every Day” by KISS….
    Siddhartha Henry loves when I singing the theme song from Britshow “Heartbeat”….thank goodness for memories & photos!
    Your 4 look fab by the way.
    Gentle {{hugs}} Sherri-Ellen & **nose rubsss** Siddhartha Henry xxXxx

    1. I’ve also sang the Rock and Roll all night and Potty Every Day song. It was the “scoop the litter box” or “pick up poop” song. I”d forgotten about that one. Thank you for bringing up another good memory.

  9. It’s so sweet and comforting how our furry family members always come around to give emotional support in sad times. That’s a terrible…and hilarious…joke about Pres. Carter. I actually lol’d. (I also think of him as the best president we’ve had in many years.) We have named one of the “porch kitties” Graybie in honor of yours. He’s trying his best to sweet talk us into letting him come live in the house. George and Little Girl could be twins, right down to the tiny bit of white fur! The memories of your Dad and Grandparents that you’ve shared here are lovely. RainbowCatsx13 are sending you and all the kitties love & gentle purring. I send tender hugs.

    1. Graybie is honored. He was actually gray as a kitten (I bottle-fed him) and his fur darkened after I’d named him. As he ages, white furs pop up among the black ones. He may grow back into his name at some point. ❤️

  10. ahhhhh—Jen—I also have a complicated relationship with my father who died in 1994. And yet, some of my love for animals comes from his appreciation of animals as companions. Yet, I did not agree with his concept of “caring” for our pets. Nonetheless, I have so much to be angry about and as well so much to appreciate for his presence in my life. I miss my lost friends, although thankfully that list is pretty short for now. And I still weep over my lost cats and dogs. And so I try to do what I can to be involved in cat rescue and I also work hard to be kind to senior humans even when they appear to be unkind and uncaring when in public…I will be there in those shoes soon enough and hope others will give me some space when I act in ways that I would never have accepted when younger. I miss DeDe and Rumpy and you…hugs, Linda

  11. I’m sorry for your loss. My fondest memory of my dad is of him telling a particular joke and then laughing at it. The joke was good but the vision of him laughing at his own joke was priceless.

    1. My great-grandpa who never told jokes let this one loose just as my grandpa was about to offer grace, and got so tickled he had to wait a minute. Memories of my dad come when I give someone “the look” over my glasses. I learned that one from him.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Animal companions are the best to have around especially at times like these. In a little over a 2 year span I had 6 family members pass away. It was really hard so much grive in such a short time. I got though it and was so thankful my furbabies and feather baby were in tune with how I was feeling and they knew I needed them. I have songs for each of my furbabies and my feather baby. They are made up by me and I make them up about them . Will be thinking of you during this time as I understand what you are going though.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending purrs. ❤

    I have a little song for my dog Sparky. It's based on the song Rocky Top. Here it is if you want to hear it:

    Sparky Dog, you'll always be
    Dog sweet dog to me
    Good old Sparky Dog,
    Sparky Dog's who I see
    Pee-peeing on that tree.
    Pee-peeing on that treee-eeee–eeee-eee
    Sparky Dog!

    I know it's silly, but the silly moments are what makes a life.

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss. I imagine the fur-kids are all giving you their unconditional love during this time. You are their one constant. I made a memory today by visiting the cat lounge. My new fur-baby? Soon! Damn it! Soon! Cheers,H

  15. so sorry your dad is gone. the older I become, the more I wonder about the finality of death. just boggles the mind. my dad has been gone for 35 years now…he was larger than life so I cannot believe I even just typed that huge number of “35”….some others related to me? I have totally accepted their deaths I guess because they disappointed me while they were alive but I did my best to be attentive and kind in real time. my dad I miss…he was a force and sparkled and cared about others. sad when someone like that is gone. I am just rambling. still, you have my sympathy and my empathy…you are very special!

  16. So very sorry about your loss. It’s never easy losing the physical aspect of a life that was such a huge part of our life. May your memories provide a measure of comfort as you recall those days…and smile knowing you shared something special.

  17. We are so sorry to learn of your father’s passing, Jen. I hope that the good memories you have of him will serve as comfort as you reflect on your life and relationship with him. Hugs to you.

  18. I’m so sorry – My human lost Shrimp last October suddenly – and she still can’t think of her without crying -I know the loss of your Father hurts much more – purraying for you! 😿

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